Nothing says summer like the arrival of mangoes and watermelons to the markets. And of course, the sweet songs of the cuckoos in the mornings, the power cuts and the hot afternoons. And yes, the reminder that I've indeed grown up, and so I do not have summer vacations anymore.
No more running around grandparents' houses with cousins without a care in the world.
No more sitting by the todu and squeezing the mangoes out of the last drop of their pulp.
No more competitions on whose mango seed flies the longest, and who will hide from the rest of the cousins the longest.
No more of those very expensive put-a-hole-through-cousins-pocket gad-bad ice-creams.
None of the pelakkai gattis, mango rasayanas , tandoorlis and kukku bajjis.
No more summer exhibitions where you would meet all the people you've ever known , all in the span of just one evening.
No more of just-cut-me-a-mango-Mom all three meals a day.
No more sleeping on the terrace till the sun tans you to the darkest shade possible.
Well, I can make, eat and see them all as much as I want now, but its not the same without the company of the people with whom I shared my childhood.
So , come every summer, I inevitably miss the summers I spent in my grandparents' house in Hidingala and Ujire, and the careless 12-hr-long night and days I spent reading all the books I want. Basically, I miss being the 15 yr old me.
And of all the things I miss in summers, I miss the tastiest mangoes ever – Banaganapalle mangoes a lot.
You do get them in Hyderabad, but they are not as good as the ones you get in Kurnool, the place where I grew up. Very tasty, export quality mangoes for the cheapest prices possible, straight from the orchards.... oh yes, that’s possible only if you are in Kurnool. And yeah, you gotta be as mad for mangoes as we as a family are.
I was whining about the lack of good mangoes in Hyderabad and how I haven't eaten an Alphonso mango till date with no particular action item in mind. And now the house is full of mangoes. From the orchard, from the streets and even the Alphonso variety ... you name it, and the husband has managed to get it for me this time, making me grin wide, but also miss my childhood all the more.
As I am making lists on whom all to share the Alphonso crate with, I called Mom asking her to come over, just to taste the mangoes (yeah, that's how crazy we are for mangoes). She promptly refused my offer to share my Alphonsoes and told me that her Banaganapalles are way tastier than any other mango under the sky, and that I should go over to Kurnool if I want to have a bite of them. :)
So yeah, I am not considering driving over just to taste them, because she refused to parcel them to me the way she did it for the brother... :)
After I am done sighing at the awesome smell of mangoes the minute I open my fridge, I have to plan a short vacation and also the endless work that has been piling up when I was busy doing... well, eating mangoes... :) and yeah, the home photo studio for my food photography experiments.
Tell me, how are your summers going? Lots of fun? Vacations? What other plans?